Category: TRAVEL

My perfect beach wedding

My perfect beach wedding

I’ve been dreaming of my perfect wedding since I was a little girl. The shoes, the dress, the venue. Over the years, those dreams have changed and changed again and now, despite not being engaged, I picture two very different ideal weddings in my head. One […]

Dreaming of sunshine

Dreaming of sunshine

I can’t lie, after all the snow and rain over the last few weeks I have found myself dreaming of sunshine and sandy shores. A combination of the wintry weather and Florence’s current bought of chicken pox has got me suffering from some serious cabin […]

10 Tips for surviving a long car journey with a baby

10 Tips for surviving a long car journey with a baby

I’ve been meaning to write this post for absolutely ages – ever since we headed to Cornwall from Kent back in November. Holidaying with a baby for the first time can be quite a daunting occasion and even more stressful if there’s a lot of travelling involved. I thought I’d share my tips on how to make a long car journey with a baby a little less stressful for everyone, especially baby!

Know your route

The last thing you want to do is add unnecessary extra time to your trip! Plan out your route and make yourself aware of any diversions to avoid having to make any detours!

Make Regular stops

National health advice states that a baby should spend no longer than two hours in a car seat at any one time. Making sure you schedule regular breaks along the journey where baby can stretch out and be held or play is key.

Adjustable car seat

Our Joie I-LEVEL car seat* was an absolute must have for our trip. Not only is it jam packed with features to ensure the ultimate safety for little ones, it can be adjusted and set to three different positions from upright to reclined to 157• at the click of a button. When fully reclined the seat allows for baby to lay back therefore making enabling her to breathe easier. It’s also a really comfortable and cosy seat!

Take ready made formula

If your baby is formula fed like Florence, you will probably have heard of the ready made cartons of milk you can get. Instead of worrying about timings & hot water and such on the road, we take enough cartons for the journey along with empty sterilised bottles – it’s just makes feeds so much easier!

Baby friendly Music

You might need to swap your road trip playlist for something a little more… baby friendly. Arm yourself with a CD of nursery rhymes or lullabies that your baby is familiar with to keep her settled in the car.

Pack lots of toys!

Pack a basket of toys and keep it with you & baby in the back of the car ready to keep her entertained. Each time she gets bored with one, pull out another! Trust me, this will save your sanity! Make sure there’s a variety of different types – teethers, shakers and baby mirrors are all good travel toys. For the journey home from Cornwall I turned her car seat handle into a sensory gym by wrapping it in tinsel and some battery powered fairy lights and then hung some different textured toys & fabrics from it.

Snacks Galore!

As well as toys, arm yourself with plenty of snacks for baby too, the last thing you need is a hangry outburst! I always take a pack of the kiddylicious wafers and fill our Trap-a-Snack with some organic puffs when on the road.

Sit in the back

To be honest, I’ve sat in the back of the car for every journey we’ve taken since Florence was born, but even if that wasn’t the norm, I definitely would have given up my front seat spot for the seven hour trip! Being next to Florence meant I could quickly and easily reassure her if she started to get grumpy, feed her, play with her, basically give her what she needed without having to stop the car and get out between stops.

Comfortable clothing is key!

Being cooped up in a car for a long period of time is uncomfortable enough without having to sit in tight or fussy clothing. Dress your little one in a cotton baby grow while on the road for maximum comfort.

Travel overnight

A friend of mine does this and I think it’s genius! Travelling overnight when your baby will be getting in most of her sleep means that not only will she not really notice the length of the journey but you should be in for a nice chilled out road trip. Just make sure who ever is driving has had enough sleep before setting off.

*Our friends over at Joie Baby sent us an i-Level car seat to test out and review. Our full review will be going live soon but in the mean time, you can see just how easy it is to fit into your car here.

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A day out at Healey’s Cyder Farm

A day out at Healey’s Cyder Farm

If you hadn’t seen already, we spent last week on holiday in Cornwall. We had a wonderful week exploring and on Wednesday we headed to Healey’s Cyder Farm, which was about a 15 minute drive from our cottage near Perranporth. The farm had come recommended […]

Fun and Fireworks at Godstone Farm

Fun and Fireworks at Godstone Farm

We had such a lovely weekend as a family this week. It’s the first weekend we’ve spent all together for months and we soo needed it. After a quiet & chilled out day on Saturday we headed to Godstone Farm with some friends for a […]

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Our Weekend in Northampton & the Balloon Festival

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Our Weekend in Northampton & the Balloon Festival

This weekend Florence & I headed up to Northampton with my Mum & sister for a trip down memory lane. My Nan – Nanny Ann as I called her – lived in Northampton for as long as I knew her and I have so many wonderful memories of the holidays and weekends I spent with her as a little girl there.

She lived in a tiny flat overlooking Northampton Race Course where they used to hold their annual Hot Air Balloon festival. We used to go each year & I have some lovely memories of watching the balloons with her and it was lovely to revive that tradition with Florence and her own Nanny.

We travelled up on Saturday and after a *slight* one hour detour through Essex thanks to a user error with the SatNav we arrived at our Hotel – The Premiere Inn in Northampton town center. The hotel is only a year old and was really lovely with super attentive staff & free weekend parking close by. We got settled into our room where Florence had a play & a nap after the long drive. She was so good!

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At 5pm we headed to Billing Aquadrome in time to have a wander around the festival though sadly upon arrival we were informed that neither of the two main events would be taking place due to the wind & rain forecast. We would still have to pay the full entry fee to get in despite the balloon flight & glow being cancelled so instead we decided to give the Saturday a miss and went to get some dinner – the only balloons in site on our dresses!  Libby chose a roast dinner & so we booked a table at the Toby Carvery in nearby Wooton. It’s a really family friendly pub & the food was actually really delicious. Florence made friends with our waitress and certainly stole the show as ever! BALLOON FESTIVAL 23

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Cuddles with Nanny

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After dinner we went back to the hotel and watched a couple of girly films. It was like an old school  sleepover! While there was a  travel cot in the room, I had Florence in with me over night as it had been a long day and I knew she wouldn’t settle anywhere she couldn’t see me.

We set the alarm for 5am in the hope that we’d have more luck of seeung some balloons in the morning. As soon as I woke I checked the weather & twitter – the rain & wind had cleared and the balloons were going to fly! Off we went down to the Aquadrome, Florence and my sister still in their pj’s.

First feed of the day wrapped in her Nod Pod blanket as the balloons prepared for take off.
First feed of the day wrapped in her Nod Pod blanket as the balloons prepared for take off.

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We watched as the crews prepared their balloons for lift off, fires roaring & filling them with the all important hot air until they were ready to take to the skies.

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As the sun rose, the balloons took to the sky and filled it with rainbow colour. There is something so calming and beautiful about a sky full of hot air balloons floating off into the distance. BALLOON FESTIVAL 4

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Florence loved all of the colours and it was so lovely to see my Mum repeating history with her own granddaughter. BALLOON FESTIVAL 15

Once the field was empty and the sky was full, we watched for a while and then went back to the hotel for breakfast before going out to explore Northampton town centre. It really is such a lovely town full of beautiful grand buildings and charming little cafes.

We passed the hospital my Nan used to work in, visited the market square where I would play on the roundabout every single time we went there and after a spot of shopping sat out in the sunshine by the children’s sandpit where Florence had her first experience of sand between her toes! IMG_2829

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And once Florence was fed and changed it was time to make our way back home. We had such a lovely girly weekend and I can’t wait to go back this time next year.

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Buy an Experience

Watch the sun go down in Ibiza

Watch the sun go down in Ibiza

So summer holiday season is certainly upon us and with more & more people choosing to  book their vacations at the last minute this year I thought I would point you in the direction of some of the beautiful Ibizan Sunset spots you just can’t afford […]

Our day out at the Volks Weald Festival & Penshurst Place

Our day out at the Volks Weald Festival & Penshurst Place

We had the loveliest family day out yesterday at the Volks Weald festival and getting lost in the Maize maze at the hosting venue, Penshurst Place. I had never been to a car show before, nor to Penshurst Place so it was all a bit new […]